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NEBRASKA 77 , Arizona State 28

(c) 1995 Copyright The News and Observer Publishing Co.
(c) 1995 Associated Press
Arizona State  	 7 14 7  0--28
Nebraska       	35 28 0 14--77

LINCOLN, Neb. (Sep 16, 1995 - 22:06 EDT) -- Silent for days about off-field problems that led to the suspension of Nebraska tailback Lawrence Phillips, the second-ranked Cornhuskers shouted out their frustration on the field Saturday.

The result was a 77-28 thrashing of Arizona State, a team that nearly beat nationally ranked Washington two weeks earlier.

"It was just kind of an avalanche," Arizona State coach Bruce Snyder said. "I've never been in an avalanche, but that was kind of the feeling ... You have a sense of helplessness."

The Sun Devils (1-2) could do little to stem the tide in the first half after Clinton Childs sprinted 65 yards for a touchdown on the first play from scrimmage.

The Cornhuskers (3-0) took an average of 1:43 to score in first half and set a school record with 63 points. The old record for points in a half was 55 against Colorado in 1983.

Nebraska coach Tom Osborne found himself apologizing for the final margin. It was the most points scored by Nebraska since an 84-13 win over Minnesota in 1983.

"It's always your game plan to score, but I can't say we planned to score on nine of our first 10 possessions," Osborne said. He said his team lost focus in the second half, but not because of off-field problems.

"Each guy has his own individual thoughts, but I didn't seen anybody that was distracted," Osborne said. "I think it bothered them, but it didn't bother their ability to play."

Childs finished with 143 yards and two touchdowns. He left the game in the second quarter with a minor knee sprain.

"I proved a lot of things to myself," Childs said. "I just wanted to show myself that I'm more than a backup. I wanted to show the people of Nebraska that I could get the job done."

The rout capped a wild week that saw national media descend on Lincoln following Phillips' arrest and suspension for allegedly hitting his ex-girlfriend.

There was no sign of Phillips at the game. Backup Damon Benning, who was arrested Sept. 9 on a similar charge, didn't play because of a sore hamstring.

The Huskers didn't need them. Nebraska gained 508 yards in the first half and finished with 696, 10th best in school history.

Quarterback Tommie Frazier threw for two scores and ran for two, while freshman tailback Ahman Green added two touchdowns and a career-high 111 yards. Jeff Makovicka's 13-yard scoring run put Nebraska up 35-7 at the end of the first quarter.

Frazier was curt when asked if the arrests had tainted Nebraska's image.

"You're judging the program off a couple incidents with a couple players," he said. "We're sitting on top of the mountain and everyone wants to take a shot at us. You're trying to put us with the Miamis and the Oklahomas but we don't care what people say about us.

"We made a statement today that even though we lost a great player, we're going to move on."

Frazier looked sharp after nursing a deep thigh bruise last week. He completed 7 of 10 passes for 191 yards and ran for 35 yards.

Nebraska, which came into the game averaging an NCAA-leading 532.5 rushing yards, finished with 394 yards on the ground. Green and sophomore James Sims played the second half, as did many Cornhusker substitutes.

The Sun Devils used the long ball to score against Nebraska's swarming defense. Keith Poole had 200 yards and touchdowns on receptions of 2, 38 and 80 yards by halftime.

"They shocked us a little bit," Poole said. "They're the best team I've ever played against."

Despite the blowout, Nebraska may not gain ground in the polls. That's because top-ranked Florida State scored the same number of points and won by an even bigger margin Saturday -- 77-17 over North Carolina State.